Big Punch, Little Package: The ‘Diablo,’ A 12GA Muzzle-Loading Pistol from American Gun Craft

The Diablo is the first muzzleloader from AGC that uses a single trigger and hammer design.

Old school handguns have made a comeback in recent months (the King Cobra!), but the ‘Diablo’ from American Gun Craft takes that trend to another level.

With a twenty-first-century take on an eighteenth-century weapon, the Diablo features two six-inch polished nickel smooth-bore barrels that can be fired independently using a selector on the hammer. It uses a conventional 209 primer breech plug design, and AGC recommends a 1/2 ounce shot with 40gr of FFG.

As a muzzle-loading firearm, the Diablo does not require a background check before purchase and can be shipped directly to the customer’s home address.

American Gun Craft calls it the “legal-to-own answer for the modern sawed-off double barrel shotgun” and “quite possibly one of the most powerful handguns ever made.” They recommend the handgun for home and auto defense and claim it “offers the best close quarters deploy-ability of any shotgun.”

The Diablo weighs 25.6 ounces and measures 10 inches in overall length. American Gun Craft offers grips in a Midnight Black or Brazilian Rosewood finish, and the sight bead can be shipped installed or not.

AGC offers the Diablo with black or rosewood grips.

AGC also offers a magnetic mount that can be affixed in cars or at home.

This isn’t the manufacturing company’s first foray into muzzleloading firearms. They also offer two separate lines of 12 GA pistols, the Bulldog and the Wrath. Both feature 11-inch barrels and dual hammers and triggers, but the Bulldog uses a grip with finger grooves and the Wrath includes a model designed for hunting.

The “Wrath” with camo and a red dot.

The Diablo can be ordered now for $489 and will be shipped in approximately six weeks.

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 78 comments… add one }
  • LooterShooter September 20, 2020, 11:32 am

    I think with a 20mm rail, perhaps a fishing setup similar to bowfishing could be devised, a small ,large grain(?) charge would most likely work good but some sort “whisker biscuit” special arrows to fit shoot …

    Also a sturdy 20mm to 20mm rail connector could connect normal pistol to favorite “black rifle” as vertical foregrip setup.(?)

    This gun is a bit of anomaly that with a cva Electra type ignition and pre loaded disposable ramrod cartridge, it actually represents IMO the future more than the past…simpler,fewer parts far cheaper gun/ammo…thoughts to meditate on *cough*

    Price not bad considering a homebuilt version would need strictly muzzleloader locks and trigger otherwise one may have (re)created a receiver (?)
    My .02 again.

  • victor hundt August 31, 2020, 3:00 pm

    I have probably put 300 rounds through my pistol w/o any problems. Here are three things that you could do to improve the pistol. 1. Extend the grip at least 1& 1’2 inches. It is too short. 2. Take some of the curvature out of the trigger. For those of us with larger hands the end of the trigger is uncomfortable. 3. Eliminate the front sight. It has no useful purpose. We “posse comitatus” are using dime coin wrappers for both powder and shot when out in the field. We fold them up & put them in a pouch, and they are easy to use. Otherwise the pistol should be marketed as home and auto defense. It isn’t of much use except when on horseback out in the woods. Col. V Hundt (USMC) ret. Let us know when you have a replacement grip.

  • LooterShooter August 27, 2020, 2:02 am

    7-8 monthes could make one better at home unless hands are only tooled for… Question though: is it legal to start with a cartridge barrel only , converted to a permanently muzzleloader only barrel?
    The nfa states “…any weapon made from a shotgun shorter than ” if one wanted to use a barrel originally for cartridge , never had complete shotgun, converted such to non chambered muzzleloader barrel to clarify(?) Thanks advance

  • Jack Boyington June 18, 2020, 6:24 pm

    I received mine in 2 1/2 months. Not bad at all for an incredible unusual “pistol” …
    high quality in all respects.
    JLB
    Douglas, AZ

  • Kenneth l Benson March 25, 2020, 7:10 pm

    Why are people getting there order after so many months of waiting ? don’t under stand if you have them on stock they should have them. was going to buy hoster and nickol . will have to think about this.

    • jw burriss March 31, 2020, 9:35 pm

      a year late but i hope you got it. i waited for mine i think 7 months, but when i got it the wait was worth it! i am going to order another one that i will fire.

  • Ted Griffen February 11, 2020, 4:25 am

    Buyer beware. Neat little gun, but quality is “B-level.” A Ruger this is not. It took over 9 months to receive mine. That one had scratches and tool marks. Sent back on my own dime – they will not compensate you for their shoddy work – and waited over 2 months for a replacement. After I asked where it was they sent one out – that one was even worse. Tool marks, dents, and scratches. Ate the cost and will never consider anything from them again.

  • Lying Bastard January 21, 2020, 8:07 am

    So, it is like a modern Howdah pistol?

  • Phil January 8, 2020, 5:24 pm

    I had just bought a Remington Tac-14 and test fired it a few times, when I discovered the Diablo 12 ga pistol, while surfing the Web. Initially I didn’t realize that the Diablo was a muzzle loader, but after trying various commercially available 12 ga shells looking for a comfortable load to use in my Tac-14, I decided that a muzzle loader could be a good solution. Anyway, I ordered my Diablo in mid-September 2019 and waited patiently for delivery. In December, I sent an email to check the status of my purchase and I received a reply email that it would be shipped soon. I received my pistol, which was just as described and marketed by American Gun Craft, in mid-December 2019.

    Although it seemed like a long wait, about 13 weeks, I accept the fact that the Diablo pistol is made-to-order, not a “fast food” substitute for quality craftsmanship and materials. I have only shot my Diablo once, so far, because I waited until I got the gun before I bought a pound of Pyrodex, which is available at Bass Pro Shop in San Antonio for about $20/lb, and ordered 12 ga cards/wads and 5# of Hornady )) buckshot from Track of the Wolf online. My first shot was with powder/wads/cards but no pellets because I haven’t taken the time to go to my shooting range, yet. I was pleased with the initial experience with my Diablo pistol, and I am looking forward to experimenting with different amounts of powder and shot to see what load I like best. I congratulate American Gun Craft on their fine product, and I hope they keep up the good work.

  • DAVID BROADNAX December 21, 2019, 4:22 pm

    LOOKS LIKE 8 MONTHS TO A YEAR WAIT ITS A AWESOME GUN BUT THATS A LONG AMOUNT OF TIME TO WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND AND YOU NEED TO BE TOLD UP FRONT NOT TOLD 8 WEEKS. HAD PLACED THE ORDER BUT AFTER READING REVIEWS I JUST COULDN’T PULL THE TRIGGER

  • aaron l peck November 22, 2019, 6:19 pm

    I received my diablo pistol, the craftsmanship was way beyond what I was expecting, it’s built very strong. I loaded 45gr. ffg black powder and 1oz. number 6 shot, with one hand it had hardly any recoil, their web sight says no more than 60grs. I will work up to that gradually. I down loaded the complete instructions for the pistol, American Gun Crafter’s also now have cross draw holsters, I just got mine two days ago and like their pistols I was overwhelmed by the craftsmanship and fit they both are totally awesome, I have got to say American Gun Crafters take pride in what they do, hats of to them for an absolute wonderful and economic products, if the sound of their products tickle your fancy go for it you won’t be disappointed.

  • Jeffery Whittle November 19, 2019, 8:14 am

    Thats an INSANE amount of power. I had some surprisingly devastating results when comparing 12 gauge roundball with .45 acp.

  • Wesley Parker November 13, 2019, 11:20 am

    I got my Diablo and I am very pleased with it. It took a little longer than expected but it was worth the wait. I stayed in touch with Gun Craft America and they stayed in touch with me. I got the Diablo after about 20 weeks. I started to get impatient but then the guys at Gun Craft America calmed me down. LOL They told me what was going on and when I should expect the pistol. It came in a nicely packed box and the UPS guy wanted to see it. LOL His eyes got as big as my beer gut.
    I’ve only been able to shoot it once and I can say I am very happy with my Diablo and I’m thinking about getting another one or a Howdah.

  • Michael Relyea October 11, 2019, 8:38 pm

    NEVER BUY FROM THESE GUYS ! it’s been 6 months since I ordered and paid for two diablo pistols.. Their website is completely misleading ! 6 months ago it said on hand (at first) then it said 8-10 weeks… like I said it been 6 months.. I email “Tim” who at first responded very quickly to see where my pistols are.. now.. it’s been weeks since I heard from them since my last email. I sent one yet again, yesterday saying refund my $ or I will see you in court. Nothing yet… they are a BS company it’s bad buisness to tell somebody they will get the product they paid for in 8-10 weeks then turn around and say maybe april of next year.. NO !! what the hell is going on here.. my advise is just do not.. they look beautiful however these guys are shady. I just may own this so called company soon.

    • Pete Aleman November 10, 2019, 10:31 pm

      Had the same problem but they would send me an email that it would arrive in 2 weeks, this happen 3 times and on the 3rd I called them on their BS and got a refund. Bad Business!!!

  • Garland Elkins October 11, 2019, 12:50 pm

    I got my Diablo and couldn`t be more pleased. It is a beautiful little piece that feels good in my hand & is a surefire home protector that makes me & my family feel safer just having it. The wait was a little long but never doubted that i would get it. I want to get the other double they offer & i think this company is going to do great.

  • Michael Gillen October 7, 2019, 9:26 am

    After 7 months I got my gun. Had to wait another week or so for the manual and finally get a chance to take it out and a hex screw is missing from the handle. Very disappointed with this company.

  • Jeffery Whittle October 2, 2019, 2:58 pm

    I just got my hands on one of these. I heard some people were having a wait but it looks like they\’ve got themselves all caught up. The quality of this item seems top notch.You can really tell that They take a lot of pride in their product simply based on the packaging the ship it in. everything was pristine and very well kept. The item came to me just as expected and even included a very nice stowaway bag. I can\’t wait to take this thing out to the range because it\’s sure not to disappoint. Discussing recoil Management is kind of moot since you\’re able to pick your own loads. If anybody is still scratching their heads about the quality of this product… scratch no more! This thing is a winner!

  • charles swayngim October 1, 2019, 10:01 am

    Received my Diablo! This little cannon was well worth the wait! It is now my favorite weapon! Heavy for its size but nice because it helps tame the recoil of this beast! The fit and finish is superb, with no machining marks present anywhere. the bluing is flawless. AGC also included a nice ramrod which was not mentioned at time of purchase. After firing mine over a hundred times i have noticed no significant wear on any of the parts. The shot patterns very well to have such a short barrel. The only negative thing i have to comment on is the short grip. It is functional and handles well, but i have large hands and theres nothing to wrap my pinky finger around. I do carry mine in my car and it fits perfectly in my cupholder 🙂 Two thumbs up for American Gun Craft!!

  • David Selzer September 24, 2019, 6:29 pm

    I never finalized the orther and it came today 9/23/19 I dont want it
    And want to know how I get in touch with u and what charges u put in and on what card?

    • Paul December 11, 2019, 4:25 am

      I’ll buy it

  • Dan Constantinescu September 24, 2019, 2:55 pm

    They never respond or send the product is a joke 3 month passed by I file a dispute with my bank to get my money back

  • Don Tros September 21, 2019, 4:10 pm

    Got mine. Very well made. Fun to shoot. Yeah, it took a while but like they said, it was a labor of love. I wanted a Pedersoli. But cost much much more and it’s just a fun gun to shoot.

  • Michael Gillen September 16, 2019, 5:59 pm

    Got my gun finally. 8 months late. Had to take the day off work to sign for it and didn’t get an owner’s manual and no response about getting one.

  • MajorLord September 3, 2019, 10:16 pm

    I have been waiting for about 5 months, today I was advised about another 15 days. I sure hope they can deliver-they have charged my credit card, and they do return my emails, so I have not lost all hope. It is amazing to me that so many people cannot understand that this is a muzzle loading pistol with a 12 Gauge bore. It does not chamber “real” shells, but it could be loaded with regular 12 gauge components: Wads, cups, slugs, ( Maybe not smart to use slugs) etc. If they even advertised a gun like this that could fire 12 gauge cartridges, the nice people at BATFE would be down their throats with an angry swat team and a bad attitude in a new york-minute! If these become real, I plan on giving them to friends as Christmas gifts!

    • Edje Collins September 7, 2019, 1:22 pm

      I waited exactly 7 and a half months for mine. It is real and I love it. The recoil isn’t bad because of the hefty weight.

  • Michael Gillen September 1, 2019, 7:50 am

    Still no gun.

  • Edje Collins August 29, 2019, 1:54 pm

    I FINALLY RECIEVED MY DIABLO 12 GAUGE PISTOL!

    This thing is built like a tank. It’s a little smaller than I expected but it fits in the hand very well. I shot one barrel with the suggested powder load (40 gr of 2F triple 7) but with only a quarter ounce of zinc plated steel BBs. Then the other barrel was with 40 gr of the same powder and a half ounce of the zinc plated steel BBs, which is the suggested load weight. The recoil was fairly mild. Way less than expected. Especially since I shoot Bear loads out of my bond arms 45 colt. The Diablo cleaned up very easily and since I already shoot black powder, I had everything I needed to clean it. The breach plugs are able to screw in just deep enough to where the firing pin will not strike hard enough to fire the 209 primers. At first I thought this was a spacing issue but it’s a good thing. If the gun gets too fouled up to close the breach, just tighten down the breach plugs a little. The breach plug threads are perfect and smooth working. I backed them up a half turn and had reliable primer ignition. There was a surprisingly small amount of smoke when I fired it. I’m very pleased with my purchase and it was worth the 7 1/2 months I waited for it.

  • Ray Taylor August 22, 2019, 2:51 pm

    These people at American Gun Craft are a complete rip off.I ordered my Diablo last winter and all I get is delays.Intially told it would be delivered in June then told it was in production and would be there in July.Now their voicemail is full and won’t answer emails.I have friend who ordered one last winter same problem.My advice keep away from these people.

    • Edje Collins August 26, 2019, 7:39 am

      I ordered mine January 15, 2019 and now I finally have a tracking number. I should be getting my product this Wednesday (August 28, 2019). They replied to every one of my emails and kept me updated every month.

  • Oliver Stone August 7, 2019, 2:53 pm

    If it is a muzzle loader then why do the barrels fold down?
    Where is the loading rod stored?
    Is it possible to have the rear of the barrels milled down to accommodate 12ga shells?

    • bacon September 29, 2019, 5:45 pm

      they fold down so you can clean them easily and dislodge a fouled charge ( like if you drop it in a pond)
      no it is not in ANY WAY meant for 12 gauge shotgun shells . neither in dimension NOR pressure retention.
      and do i even NEED to tell you how illegal that is?
      if your going to be so foolish as to create an NFA violation might as well build a machine gun. since your sentence will be the same..

  • Clarence Brown August 3, 2019, 4:07 pm

    I would like to get one of these but haven’t seen where anyone has received theirs. Looks like it’s a possible scam

    • Edje Collins August 31, 2019, 4:42 pm

      I received mine a few days ago. read my comment above.

  • Edje Collins August 2, 2019, 5:12 pm

    I ordered my Diablo Jan 17th, 2019 and still no product. I’m patient and I don’t want my money back because this is such a unique piece. They have been updating me every month. They said 8 weeks but it is almost 8 months so far. I get that they used the preorder money to buy more equipment to fill orders but I wish they would be a little more up front about it. Either way, i hope i get my pistol eventually.

  • Michael Gillen July 26, 2019, 11:38 pm

    Placed my order 2/17/19. STILL no gun. They should be embarrassed of the “production video” and inept video of a guy struggling to get the gun to work shooting a watermelon. Requested an owners manual and never received one after being told I would get one.

  • Michael S. Coles July 20, 2019, 2:27 pm

    I ordered the Diablo Break Open back in February, 2019 and still have not received it. I have contacted them twice now. They responded right away. Both times it was the same answer, “It will take another 4 weeks because they are behind in production and refuse to compromise quality. If I want my money back they would be happy to give me a full refund”. I don’t want a refund. I want my gun! As of 7/20/2019, I still have no gun from them. This is 5 months now. This is completely unacceptable. This company is a joke. I hate to think what it’s going to be like if the gun has a problem and I have to deal with customer service. I truly believe I will never see the gun or my money!

  • J Johnston July 19, 2019, 11:16 pm

    Nice concept, waste of money. Taurus Judge 5 shots 410ga OO chest high to face from 8ft. away Nuff said……

    • bacon September 29, 2019, 5:49 pm

      yea , how bout “nothin” said?
      this is a BP fire arm with little to no restrictions nation wide
      the judge is a center fire pistol with a 4473 form and background checks.

      do you also think apples are the best tasting oranges? just curious..

  • Jason Caldwell July 9, 2019, 8:21 pm

    Ordered mine in March 2019 and still have not received mine. Same response from them three times that you guys got. Not happy!

  • Ringo338 June 29, 2019, 9:17 am

    A total waste of money. Muzzle loading is a joke. They look good but for the same price you can buy a short handled Mossberg 500 and with a rubber OPSOL (ebay $15) you can load TEN 12 Gauge Minishells that are amazingly accurate and powerful, with nearly no recoil. Lastly, you can easily add a full stock to the 500 and used it as a normal shotgun. I own two of these and love them.

    • poorman August 10, 2020, 8:20 am

      So what is your point. I have 2 mossy’s and also a Remington 870 as well as a Winchester 1200. None of them are a black powder muzzle loading 12 gauge pistol. What your saying is I should only have one weapon? How about pistols do you only have one of those also? believe it or not some people buy weapons just because they are fun to shoot. I don’t own one of these and most likely never will but your comment is just plain dumb

  • Albert William Pike June 1, 2019, 8:30 pm

    I want to get one of these!!

  • Larry May 29, 2019, 1:27 pm

    I ordered this little baby April 3, 2019. Was just notified it is going to be another 30-60 days before I get it. Every time I email them it\’s another 2 weeks or 4 weeks.

    • David Goehring June 16, 2019, 12:05 pm

      Larry I order March 6 and last week tim told me 2 more months… I’m calling for my money back and then I’m calling St Paul Police…

      • Steve June 22, 2019, 6:04 am

        Man I ordered mine in February, still waiting. It’s a shame cool guns but I’m tired of waiting .

  • Anthony Riccardelli March 18, 2019, 9:45 pm

    So this is a little confusing, is it a muzzle loader that can fire 12g round?

    • Marcos May 11, 2019, 11:07 pm

      No. Just like a .50 caliber muzzleloader doesn’t shoot .50 BMG, this thing doesn’t shoot 12 gauge rounds. the caliber of the barrel is 12 gauge. You load your powder and wad and shot and over shot wad and put a primer in the back like an inline shotgun or on top like a cap and ball gun depending on which model you get.

  • Billll March 10, 2019, 6:45 pm

    Firing that from inside a car and your car would look like an out take from a Cheech and Chong movie. Or maybe one of Obamas high school rides.

  • Silence DoGood March 7, 2019, 10:03 pm

    I used to have a sawed-off double with 10″ bbls and a bird’s head grip. Recoil wasn’t at all unpleasant because arms (with bent elbows) suck up most of the recoil, and the 10″ bbls don’t pack nearly as much wallop as 18-inchers. There’s just that much less energy coming out the end.

  • BR February 21, 2019, 7:53 pm

    So you are going to have a muzzle loading shotgun stored/carried barrel down subjected to constant jarring and vibration….really? No problem with that? Black powder in the heat of a car…no problem with that?? Sorry NOPE.

    • joe August 15, 2019, 12:34 pm

      So glad I read these reviews.

      I specifically asked the guy if I could use the 12g shells that I normally put in my shotgun. He DANCED around the question after I SPECIFICALLY asked. It is a wad and powder????? FK THAT not to mention the time frame people have been waiting????? FK THAT again.

      • poorman August 10, 2020, 8:25 am

        LOL he danced around telling you that you were an idiot is what he did. It is a BLACK POWDER pistol so why would you ask if it would take a cartridge? Honestly if you know that little about weapons you probably shouldn’t own one.

  • deanbob February 16, 2019, 5:44 pm

    From just below the last picture:

    “The Diablo can be ordered now for $489 and will be shipped in approximately six weeks.”

    I wonder how the individual state’s “carry” laws apply.

    • David Goehring May 5, 2019, 9:33 pm

      8 weeks and no gun…All they can say is that I can have my money back…I do not want the money back,just send me the gun…P.S. they took the money upfront…Thursday I’ll be calling again…NOT HAPPY! David Goehring

      • David Goehring May 9, 2019, 1:15 pm

        I’m happier now …I spoke to AGC and there working hard on filling orders and from what I understand it’s worth the wait…I’ll be reviewing as soon as it’s in hand… Thanks David Goehring.

        • Michael S. Coles July 20, 2019, 2:32 pm

          Every time you call they will say the same thing.

    • Anonymous September 19, 2019, 3:22 pm

      I think that Guns America should be ashamed for promoting this business and not following up with the terrible customer service that every customer has experienced. I did not agree to a no interest loan for 6 months while waiting for my order. I wonder how they would fare during a wire fraud/Ponzi investigation.

    • poorman August 10, 2020, 8:28 am

      If my memory serves, while you should be able to buy this without a background check because it’s black powder you still wouldn’t be able to carry it ( at least concealed) in most states

  • James Garrison February 16, 2019, 8:53 am

    It might hurt your hand to fire it but it wouldn’t if less powder is used. I gotta have on. Any prices in it?

  • mike mccarthy February 15, 2019, 5:29 pm

    sounds like you can fire both barrels if need be

  • Bobby Baker February 15, 2019, 3:40 pm

    I want one!!

    • raymond f. hillard February 15, 2019, 5:58 pm

      i need order detals

    • Michael S. Coles July 20, 2019, 2:33 pm

      We all want one. I think it’s a scam. I have heard nothing about anyone getting one, just complaints about no delivery.

      • Michael S. Coles September 29, 2019, 2:08 pm

        I got mine and it is beautiful. I had to wait a long time to get it though.

  • Louis Hawkes February 15, 2019, 3:28 pm

    They are illegal in California. Shot guns must have 16in barrels..

    • mike mccarthy February 15, 2019, 5:32 pm

      being black powder it dose not come into play at least in new York it dose not and our laws suck

      • Kody March 1, 2019, 8:20 am

        Its considered a muzzleloader not a shotgun. Same with slam fires. Basically anything that requires a loading from the front of the barrel is considered a cannon which have no possession laws. Unless perhaps theres a secondary law restricting carrying. But, because its NOT a gun it doesnt have to be filed through the federal system. Its basically an adults toy

  • David February 15, 2019, 10:39 am

    Yes, the gun will hurt you to shoot it. And yes, it is only 2 shots. But consider the gun for what it is made for: a close range “belly” gun with a BIG bang to hurt your attacker. Meaning, this is made for no more than a 5 yard shot, if that, and will scatter enough to severely maim/kill anyone you are pointing it at. And yes, I want one.

  • Dean Petrie February 15, 2019, 9:57 am

    Is this a kit? Have others? How much? wher can I get reasonably priced kits to build muzzle loaders.

  • Andrew Miller February 15, 2019, 9:06 am

    I’d find that hard to both reload and steer a Mack truck while beset by The Humungus…

  • Jerry Younts February 15, 2019, 8:27 am

    Love this double barrel pistol I so need this it’s awesome

  • shrugger February 15, 2019, 7:52 am

    Just the thought of firing that thing makes my hand hurt. I LIKE IT!

  • Beachhawk February 15, 2019, 7:33 am

    I think it would make a nice display and conversation piece, but I see little practical value. It won’t be much fun to shoot and I wouldn’t want to engage in a firefight with only two rounds. Can you imagine firing that beast inside an automobile? Even fired with the muzzle outside the car, you’d be deaf until the next ice age.

  • Steven February 15, 2019, 5:52 am

    What, no product evaluation?

  • bison1913 February 15, 2019, 4:30 am

    I don’t know about you guys… But I love it. It looks awesome and I also shoot black powder so it fits my forte.
    Something different than my usual handguns.

  • scott February 15, 2019, 3:12 am

    The muzzle flash would singe the perps face and body:).

  • Robert Smith February 14, 2019, 9:43 pm

    I would like to see a cartridge version, too. AGC could use the same dodge as the Shockwave and the TAC-14, making it a “firearm”. Barrels long enough to meet the 26″ OAL requirement. Oh yes, a SIG-brace compatible grip would be useful.

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